Explorations in faces, mark making and watercolour


portrait painting by Wen's Paint


Hello creative friends,

These last weeks I really dove into some art classes. And I plan to that the coming half year or so. Exploring, experimenting, learning, growing.

One of the things I did was drawing a whole lot of faces. I tried a drawing in black and white on brown paper, because I love how the old masters did that when doing studies for their paintings.

I also learned to paint a portrait in a different way then I was used to, following a lesson by Donna Downey. First a quick sketch in watered down acrylic paint, then mapping the shadows and light parts of the face, roughly. And after that you go on with smoothing and detailing. I'm really happy with the result (see above). (I later saw that the light on the chin looked a bit weird. I changed that and took a new photo.)


portrait drawing by Wen's Paint


And then there was this exercise in the art class Supplies Me by Jane Davenport. It was a lesson in the use of gesso. You start out with random texture and mark making. Then you paint over some parts of it with black gesso, leaving out a couple of spots of the under-layer. And then you try to make something out of that. I thought this was such a fun lesson and was surprised by the fun result I got, see below.


whimsical painting by Wen's Paint


Speaking of mark making, I also played with inks and wax crayons, following a lesson by Tracy Verdugo. I had tried to use inks before and only made a mess. So I was a bit apprehensive at first with this lesson. But I got such cool results this time, that I just kept on going, haha!


mark making by Wen's Paint


Next, I followed some watercolour lessons by Nicola Blakemore. We painted a couple of apples first.


watercolour apple by Wen's Paint


I was so happy with playing with watercolour paints, that I also followed along with a video on youtube by  Lindsay Weirich, which you can find here. Here's my result:




Besides all the lessons I followed, I did a whole lot of drawing and painting just for fun.

Here's another one of the paintings I made for a lesson by Donna Downey, a bouquet of bright happy flowers. The lesson was on complementing colours.


flowers painting by Wen's Paint


Honestly, you learn so much by following online art classes by a variety of teachers! I can highly recommend it. And I found a couple of very good and inspiring teachers, some I haven't even mentioned yet, but I'm very sure they will be in future posts. So, stay tuned :)

I hope seeing my art journey helps you to go explore too and find the art teachers that really speak to your heart. You will learn so much and will grow your creative soul. Don't be afraid to walk new paths, you will surprise yourself and will really find YOU in your art journey!

Me? I'm noticing that at my tropical soul is coming to the foreground more. My grandpa was from Indonesia and as a child I was surrounded by Indonesian food, music, dances, and so on. Funny to watch how this upbringing is flooding my creative journey at the moment :)

Enough talk, wishing you a beautiful day!

xx Wen


On my worktable




Hello creative friends!

Yes I'm still in the land of paints :)

It's been a while since I took up my experiments in painting, trying to free myself from preconceptions and expectations. Here's what's on my worktable, or rather floor, at the moment.

I know it's not New Year's eve at the moment, but I have a resolution nevertheless. I really want to finish the online art classes I was taking and create a large body of work. Just paint paint paint, do some stitching and bookbinding here and there, take photos and shoot videos wherever my heart brings me. All in open minded student-mode. Absorbing. And being productive. I'm not sure how much of this I will be sharing with you here, because being online takes away my focus on producing work. But I'm sure there will be some moments of sharing here anyhow :)

And if I'm not here, then I might be at my blog AppleApricot.

Wishing you a beautiful creative day!

xx Wen


Creating flowers and creatures




Spring has arrived and I'm sooo in the mood for flowers!
My worktable was invaded by a whole lot of them. There was hardly room left for me :)

And of course my brushes had to paint even some more on every flowerless spot they could find.

Here's a looping and very short video of the making of:




In a smaller journal I illustrated these:




And on a big piece of watercolour paper I started this portrait.




When on ski holiday, I drew my version of the Easter bunny:




Wishing you a joyful spring!

xx Wen


In search of our own art voice




Your own art voice, your unique style.
What is it?
How can one find it?

At the moment I'm really diving into this question,
reading blog posts and book pages about it,
watching interviews.




What comes to mind at first is:
do the work.

Just do it.
Work.

If you're a painter:
paint.
Paint more.

You need to practice a lot, create a lot,
before your own style will develop more clearly.




Second tip: Explore.
Seek inspiration by watching other artists.
Look at their work, look closely.
Then ask yourself: what is it what I like about this work?
The colours?
The story?
The drama?
The looseness?
Or the empty spaces?
The marks made?
The subject?




Then step back, put away the computer or the book or other source.
And just work and explore with the media you have at hand.
Without the other artist's work right in front of you,
so you will not be tempted to just copy.




That's what I tried with the first two paintings above.
And it worked!
Yes, you will probably still be able to see which artists inspired me.
But still, it came out of myself and is not merely a copy.




There are more questions you can ask yourself
and other things to try as well,
when you're in search of your own unique art voice.
But more on that in another post.




Happy creating!

xx Wen


Exploring freely




Hello sweet friends,

As I mentioned in my previous post, I'm searching for my own unique art voice and style
and to do so I'm exploring new-to-me terrain in art.
Way out of my comfort zone.

The painting in my art journal above is inspired by one of my fave artists:
So I want to give her full credit.

And below is a watercolour rose that I did following a tutorial video by
Dana of Wonder Forest.
(Ah, some blog names or instagram handles
can really make you wish you had come up with that wonderful name!)



And here is a work in progress.
A background I made for a new project in my art journal,
after feeling very inspired by all the beautiful art I had seen lately.




There will be doodling like the first painting on top of it, I think.
But I loved this background so much by itself, that I wanted to capture it before adding more to it.

I hope you feel inspired to explore art outside your comfort zone as well.
Do try, it's so liberating!

Happy smiles to you!

xx Wen


Artful play day




Seabluegreen is one of my favourite colours.
I think it's such a soothing hue.

The pages in my art journal above are not yet finished,
but I wanted to share a little bit of my artful play.




I had a young visitor this weekend and this sweet little girl loves to paint.
So I took out my supplies and we had some fun together.

I had no plans nor expectations beforehand and this can be a good remedy against perfectionism :)
as I surprised myself with the lovely background above.
Now, what shall I use it for... oh dear... too much thinking...

Anyway, what do you do with your left over paints?




Mixed with water it can be a wonderful way to dye some fabric scraps for other artful projects.

But usually the leftover paints end up in my bigger art journal.
I just apply them randomly.

But sometimes interesting pages emerge out of this.




I'm starting to like to make a bit more abstract art.
Or less realistic anyway :)

Although I still can't help myself and my perfectionism.
For example in the painting below, which I already shared at my other blog AppleApricot.




More background play with inks and paints below.




And then my perfectionist brain kicks in and I don't know what to do with these next, lol!

At the moment I'm working on some more experimental projects then I am used to.
Way out of my comfort zone!
But I love it!
I will share those projects another time soon.

But for now, wishing you a beautiful artful play day!

xx Wen


The witch and the kitten


Halloween is coming near.
I think it got me inspired to make a witchy art journal page.




Totally NOT on purpose she has this wart kind of thing on her upper lip, haha!

Can one fall in love with one's own created creature?
Well, I'm certainly in love with this little kitten I created!!
Wish it was real, it's so darn cute!




This page comes entirely from my own imagination.
But of course I'm influenced by work of others!


Enjoying the sun


Sunny Sundays are sweet days.

Especially when you have some spare time to create a journal page.

Today is such a yummy day :)




"Enjoying a sunny day in a field full with flowers."

This page is inspired by a video by Mindy Lacefield
that I watched this morning
where she uses water soluble crayons.

Wishing you a sunny day!

xx Wen




Catching sweet dreams


In Lifebook 2015 one of the lessons was about making a dream catcher.

Hm... I'm not really into dream catchers to be honest,
although I really loved watching Rachel Rice's lesson.

So, I came up with my own version.
Inspired by Rachel's work.




A little girl on a silver white moon.
Wearing her pink night gown.